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Hole opens in road, strands homeowners on mountain

SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, Tenn. (AP) - An old mineshaft on Signal Mountain has become an impediment to a few homeowners when their access road over it began collapsing.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://bit.ly/XjMtRo ) reported a state contractor was scheduled to fill in the old shaft Tuesday. The homeowners became stranded over the weekend when the hole opened on a private road.

Tennessee Department of Transportation environmental specialist James Finley said the mine shaft is about 20 feet deep and the collapsed area is about 8 feet wide. Finley said the few inches of soil was too weak to drive a car over.

TDOT is using money from the state abandoned mines program to pay a contractor to collapse the rest of the shaft and then fill it with gravel.